About Hawthorn West Primary School

Principal’s Welcome

It is my privilege to serve Hawthorn West Primary School in the role of School Principal.  Our school provides a comprehensive and engaging learning program which ensures that all students have the opportunity to develop the foundational knowledge, skills and dispositions that will enable them to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.  

 A vibrant community, Hawthorn West Primary School welcomes the active participation of all members of the school community and is committed to working effectively together, to ensure an inclusive environment within which, every learner feels safe, valued and understood. 

There is a strong focus on academic excellence, as well as opportunities for students to explore new passions and become curious and confident learners.  Learning at Hawthorn West reflects the realities of life and ensures that students develop the critical attitudes and values which will inspire them to contribute positively, to their school and local community, as responsible and engaged citizens. 

Hawthorn West Primary School has a highly committed and talented teaching team who are ably supported by similarly dedicated education support staff.  All members of the staff team appreciate the opportunity to work constructively with the families of our community to continually improve and enhance the education program we provide for our students.  

As the newly appointed Principal, I look forward to the opportunity to connect with current and new families who are considering Hawthorn West for their child’s primary school education.   By working in unison we can ensure that every student grows into an academically successful and socially competent young person who is excited about the next stage of their education and all that the future holds.

Nerida Smith


The National Schools Board was established in Victoria in 1851 to provide non-denominational education for those preferring schools apart from the churches. A public meeting to establish the National School in Hawthorn was organised by Sir James Palmer on the 9th January 1853. Hawthorn National School officially commenced on 28th February 1853 in a building near the corner of Barkers Rd & Church St before moving to a pair of corrugated iron houses in Burwood Road.

The first stone of the present school was laid on the 19th November 1853. The school building opened on the 28th February 1854 and consisted of two classrooms built from bluestone quarried in Richmond. Subjects taught in the 1850’s were reading, writing, simple arithmetic, geography, scripture and drawing. Attendance wasn’t compulsory and many girls were not educated at all. School hours were 9am to noon and 2pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday and on Sundays the building was used for Sunday school. The national board of education report for the school for the year ended 30 June 1854 recorded an average student attendance of 79 (50 boys and 29 girls).

In 1863 the Board of National Education was formed and all schools were listed in alphabetical order and given a unique number, this school was called “Hawthorn Common School No. 293”. The school became Hawthorn State School No. 293 in 1872. The Education Act of 1872 introduced a compulsory secular and basically free education throughout Victoria and cost of the state school buildings and teachers became a charge on public funds.

In 1878 two single storey bluestone classrooms were added to the school on the west of the original classrooms. In 1885 three brick classrooms were added, one downstairs and two upstairs.

From 1918 the school became Hawthorn West Central School. Central schools offered the first two years of study for High School, forms 1 and 2.

In 1921 the school was remodelled and modernised providing additional classrooms and accommodation for a science room, store room, office and teacher’s room.

During the Great Depression, there was a fall in attendance and the school helped provide support to local relief organisations. During the Second World War (1939-1945), the Dads of many students were away at war. Schools were depleted of staff, equipment and money. Many teachers worked in factories or on farms during their holidays to assist in the war efforts. Retired teachers were recalled to fill vacancies when younger teachers went to war.

In 1953 the school celebrated a hundred years spent in childhood service. The day was filled with celebrations and at a special assembly in the west yard, each child received a centenary medal (six hundred were struck) and an ice-cream.

The opening of Richmond High School in the 1960’s resulted in the end of High School years at Hawthorn West and in 1971 the school became “Hawthorn West Primary School”.


Hawthorn West Primary School

2A Wood Street,

Hawthorn, 3122

Tel: 03 9818 2233

Email: hawthorn.west.ps@education.vic.gov.au

Principal: Nerida Smith

Assistant Principal: Daniel Vuik, Justine Poulter

School Council President: Gabriella Lorenzetti

Business Manager: Justine Beaumont

Administration: Tania Finocchiaro, Sally Waller

School Day & Bell Times

Students can access classrooms and get ready for the day

School Commences

9:00am – 9:50am
Session 1

9:50am – 10:40am
Session 2

10:40am – 11:10am
Recess break outside

11:10am – 12:00pm
Session 3

12:00pm – 12:50pm
Session 4

12:50pm – 1:05pm
Lunch (Eating time in classrooms, supervised by teachers)

1:05pm – 1:50pm
Lunch break outside

1:50pm – 2:40pm
Session 5

2:40pm – 3:30pm
Session 6

School Dismissal

School Council

Student Leaders